Chocolate-maker Barry Callebaut has reported ‘strong’ growth in sales volume, driven by its performance across all regions in the first half of its financial year.
The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region saw sales volume growth of 11.6%, to 537,542 tonnes, in the first six months of the fiscal year.
Excluding the first-time consolidation of the Europe Chocolate Company (ECC) in Belgium, the region witnessed organic volume growth of 10.3%, substantially outpacing the underlying regional chocolate confectionery market (+0.1%).
Sales revenue in the region amounted to CHF 1.7 billion (€1.68 billion), up by 17.0% in local currencies (+14.0% in CHF), while operating profit (EBIT) increased by 10.5% in local currencies (+7.8% in CHF), to CHF 192.2 million (€190.2 million).
Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said, “In the first six months of the fiscal year 2021/22, we continued our strong growth trajectory – well ahead of the underlying chocolate confectionery market.
“A strong performance across the board, in particular, chocolate delivered strong volume, solid profitability, and continued good cash generation.”
The company’s overall sales volume increased by 8.7%, to 1,164,749 tonnes, in the six months ended 28 February 2022.
Organic volume growth in the period under review was 7.9%, excluding the first-time consolidation of the Europe Chocolate Company (ECC) as of September 2021, Barry Callebaut added.
Chocolate volume grew by 9.9% in the first half, outpacing the underlying global chocolate confectionery market, which witnessed 2.0% growth, according to data from Nielsen.
The company’s sales revenue amounted to CHF 4.03 billion (€3.99 billion) – up by 16.5% in local currencies (+15.8% in CHF).
Gross profit grew by 7.2% in local currencies (+6.5% in CHF), to CHF 606.4 million (€600.1 million).
Operating profit (EBIT) on a recurring basis amounted to CHF 318.1 million (€314.8 million), while net profit (recurring) amounted to CHF 212.1 million (€209.9 million) – up by 3.6% in local currencies (+3.1% in CHF).
Sales volume in Barry Callebaut’s American unit increased by 6.3% in the first half, to 318,133 tonnes, registering growth that was more than twice the underlying regional chocolate confectionery market growth of 3.0%.
Sales revenue in the division amounted to CHF 1.02 billion (€1.01 billion) – up by 15.2% in local currencies (+17.4% in CHF) – while operating profit (EBIT) on a recurring basis grew by 14.0% in local currencies (+16.5% in CHF), to CHF 104.5 million (€103.4 million).
In the Asia-Pacific region, the company’s sales volume grew by 13.7%, to 81,123 tonnes, in line with the underlying regional chocolate confectionery market growth of 13.9%.
This performance was supported by strong growth in markets like China, India and Japan.
Sales revenue amounted to CHF 274.7 million (€271.9 million) – up by 23.4% in local currencies (+24.3% in CHF).
Sales revenue growth was impacted by the overall inflationary environment, the company noted.
The division’s operating profit (EBIT) amounted to CHF 30.8 million (€30.5 million), increasing by 7.9% in local currencies (+8.9% in CHF).
Commenting on the company’s outlook, Boone said, “I am profoundly heartened by the way our colleagues across the globe have come together to support those in need. Our strong team, our global footprint, and our cost-plus model make us confident that we can deliver on our midterm guidance in a continued volatile market environment.”
The company noted that it will keep operating in Russia to help its customers and employees there, even though images from the war in Ukraine create ‘enormous pressure’, according to a Reuters report, which quoted Boone as saying, “We are in contact with our 500 colleagues in Russia. They clearly have not asked for this decision by the Russian government.
“For us, it feels like the right thing to do, to stay close for our employees and our customers,” he said, adding that the company’s chocolate and cocoa goes into all kinds of products, including drinks and breakfast cereals.